BORIS Johnson is considering scrapping "bubbles" from schools and putting an end to pupil's self-isolating after a positive Covid contact, it has been claimed.
The PM is said to be working on the five-point rescue plan to help ease the impact of the pandemic on children after growing pressure from MPs.
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The Daily Telegraph reports the details of the leaked eight-page plan which was written by officials in the Cabinet Office's Covid-19 task force.
One of the proposed changes would be to scrap "bubbles" from schools from July 19 – the earliest date England could reopen.
Current rules require children to self-isolate if any of their classmates test positive – leaving parents scrambling to sort childcare at short notice.
On Wednesday, the Education Secretary was under mounting pressure to ditch the classroom "bubbles" now rather than waiting for Freedom Day.
Furious MPs besieged the minister with calls to crack on with binning the strict isolation rules that are proving a big headache for teachers and parents.
Mr Williamson confirmed the Government would be swapping the bubbles with routine testing "as quickly as possible".
Mr Williamson said: "Further steps will be taken to reduce the number of children who have to self-isolate including looking at the outcomes of a daily contact testing trial as we consider a new model for keeping children in schools and colleges."
But he said the new measures won't kick in until July 19 at the earliest – when most schools have broken up for the summer hols.
Another change on the PM's reported plan is to end pupils self-isolating if they are flagged down for coming in contact with someone with Covid.
This is expected to come into practice in the Autumn term.
Instead, a new testing system would come into force where pupils would be tested daily.
The third point of the plan is to hold a review of the twice-weekly testing of secondary pupils.
The review will be held at the end of September.
Other elements of the plan include a renewed drive to vaccinate all teachers and to return to a full school day from September.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the paper, titled "step four education package", could be announced on July 12, a week before Freedom Day.
A Government spokesman told the paper: “Throughout the pandemic, we have always sought to keep pupils in school and protect their education.
“We expect to be able to confirm plans to lift restrictions and bubbles as part of Step 4.
"However no final decisions have been made on this or future
testing and isolation requirements.”
Meanwhile, pupils could be forced to wear face masks in class again after calls from the UK's largest education union for face coverings to be reimplemented from September.
Abandoning face coverings in education centres should "absolutely" be reconsidered when kids return for the new school year if Covid infections remain high, the National Education Union said.
Unions want the government to implement a number of measures in exchange for their support – such as face masks, better ventilation, and twice-weekly tests by public health officials to limit the spread in schools of the Delta variant.
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